Invites and Paper

Friday Night Wedding with Full Buffet (and cheap bride! :) )

I'm working on invitations but realize I have no idea what the etiquette is on this. Our only option for our church was a Friday evening wedding. It will be a full mass lasting an hour from 6:30-7:30 pm. We're having everyone head straight to the reception venue (about half a mile away) for a reception that will go from 8-midnight. Since the reception was so late we had originally planned on heavy
hors d'oeuvres but then realized that there is no good time for our guests to eat if they get to the church at 6ish. So we'll doing a full buffet and open bar for the entirety of the reception. I'm aware this is a late dinner but unless they want to eat incredibly early in the day, I don't feel like appetizers are appropriate. That being said, I want to put something on the invitation so everyone is aware that, while late, there will be a full meal and open bar. Etiquette-wise, how do I word that? Do I really need to pay for an insert in the envelope with just that information when I have a ton of room on the back of the invitation itself? I don't want my guests to open up an invite with a bunch of different inserts and it seems silly to pay for all of those extras when I could just put it on the back. So I guess double question. Part 1: Is this wording appropriate? If not, how should it be worded so that everyone is clear on what will be offered to them: Buffet Reception and drinks to immediately follow at 8 pm (followed by the address). Part 2: Can I put that on the back of our invitations or is it more appropriate to have another insert on top of maps and RSVP's and Registry info?

Re: Friday Night Wedding with Full Buffet (and cheap bride! :) )

  • Part 1: @CMGragain is a champ at helping word invitations, but in the interim, I think there's no reason to go overboard on the invitation itself or use the back. "Dinner and dancing to follow" or something of the like at the bottom of the invitation (with address!) should suffice.

    Part 2: I would suggest another insert with additional information about the ceremony. I don't know how relevant a map is in a world of Google Maps, but you know your crowd. Just ever ever mention the registry with your invitations!

    image
    OurWildKingdom
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
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    We recently had a multi page thread on the Etiquette board on this subject. Some community members insist that the reception shouldn't be described on the invitation. Guests should trust that the host will serve refreshments which are appropriate for the time of day. If you have a wedding website, you could put the information there.

    Other community members, including me, think communicating the type of reception is helpful to guests who are wondering if they should grab a quick meal before attending your wedding. You could print 'Dinner reception to follow' at the bottom of your invitation or on the reception card. There's no need to mention the open bar.
                
    madamerwin
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    I agree with @MairePoppy. Dinner Reception to follow on a reception card (since it is at a different venue). There is no need to mention the bar. I wouldn't do it on the back of the invitation just because some people might miss it. You can have insert cards (business card size) printed rather cheaply on Vista print or other websites. Make sure you include the venue address. I just received a wedding invitation and the reception venue address wasn't included. I know where it is but many OOT guests might not.
    MairePoppySP29
  • LtPowersLtPowers Upstate New York
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    Like registry information, details on the reception are best spread by word of mouth.
  • LtPowers said:
    Like registry information, details on the reception are best spread by word of mouth.
    This is bullshit.   The registry info can be found without talking to people.   If the OP wants to make things simple then putting it on the reception card is the way to go.   

    The problem with word of mouth for something that can't be backed up with concrete proof like a registry listing is that it opens the door to a game of telephone.   And in this scenario when some may or may not expect a meal, write on the reception card that you're serving a buffet dinner.  


    madamerwin
  • "Dinner and dancing to follow" is SO much less weird than having to chat up people about what you're serving for dinner and hoping they spread it around. I can't imagine saying to someone "Hey I heard X is serving steak at their buffet wedding can't wait!". That just isn't a natural conversation flow to me. Same with calling people. If you have to call people, then it falls under the category of "information required" which means it should be on your invite.

    Also, FWIW your timing really isn't all that strange for a dinner wedding, especially non catholic. I was MUCH more confused when I grew up and started attending weddings from people of other cultures and found that at times dinner is at 4pm!
    MairePoppyCMGragaincharlotte989875SP29
  • Edit - I wasn't planning on putting anything regarding the Registry on the invite itself. What I was getting at was that it seems like a lot to have, in 1 envelope: a wedding invitation, a separate insert for a Registry, a separate insert for the RSVP and another envelope for that, a separate insert for a map (we have a ton of OOT guests, etc. It's just so much paper to keep track of. I was thinking it would save weight and room and "stuff" in there to put the "dinner and drinks reception" info just on the back. Now that I'm reading through this, I think the only reason I would do a separate insert is just so no one misses the information. I'm one of those snoopy people who look at everything so I just assumed the back would be fine but I see all of your points. Another insert it is! Thank you!!
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    edited June 2016
    Edit - I wasn't planning on putting anything regarding the Registry on the invite itself. What I was getting at was that it seems like a lot to have, in 1 envelope: a wedding invitation, a separate insert for a Registry, a separate insert for the RSVP and another envelope for that, a separate insert for a map (we have a ton of OOT guests, etc. It's just so much paper to keep track of. I was thinking it would save weight and room and "stuff" in there to put the "dinner and drinks reception" info just on the back. Now that I'm reading through this, I think the only reason I would do a separate insert is just so no one misses the information. I'm one of those snoopy people who look at everything so I just assumed the back would be fine but I see all of your points. Another insert it is! Thank you!!
    You shouldn't include a registry insert in, not just on, your invitation either. It comes off like you're expecting a gift and even though most people do give gifts at weddings, you still shouldn't remind them. Include registry info with shower invites and otherwise people will ask where you're registered. 
    MairePoppy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    We understood what you wrote, Knottie#s. Inserts with the registry info should not be put in the wedding invitation envelope - not even the little cards that the sales person in the department store gave you when you registered. 
    Yeah, that wedding invitation I referred to without the venue address had an insert with registry information. That got a big ole eye roll from me!
    MairePoppy
  • I see no reason for you to print that you are having dinner at your reception.  This would be assumed.  Registry information in the invitation?  Yuck!  Bleck!  Tacky!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • CMGragain said:
    I see no reason for you to print that you are having dinner at your reception.  This would be assumed.  Registry information in the invitation?  Yuck!  Bleck!  Tacky!
    Shouldn't the invitation avoid assumptions??   
    spockforprezSwissMs
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    CMGragain said:
    I see no reason for you to print that you are having dinner at your reception.  This would be assumed.  Registry information in the invitation?  Yuck!  Bleck!  Tacky!
    I went to an evening wedding and assumed dinner would be served. Boy was I wrong! They had cheese, crackers, and chicken fingers. Several of us ended up leaving the reception early so we could go get dinner. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 2016
    CMGragain said:
    I see no reason for you to print that you are having dinner at your reception.  This would be assumed.  Registry information in the invitation?  Yuck!  Bleck!  Tacky!
    I went to an evening wedding and assumed dinner would be served. Boy was I wrong! They had cheese, crackers, and chicken fingers. Several of us ended up leaving the reception early so we could go get dinner. 

    This was not a problem wit the invitation wording.  It was a problem with the hosting.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    ILoveBeachMusicSTARMOON44
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    CMGragain said:
    CMGragain said:
    I see no reason for you to print that you are having dinner at your reception.  This would be assumed.  Registry information in the invitation?  Yuck!  Bleck!  Tacky!
    I went to an evening wedding and assumed dinner would be served. Boy was I wrong! They had cheese, crackers, and chicken fingers. Several of us ended up leaving the reception early so we could go get dinner. 

    This was not a problem wit the invitation wording.  It was a problem with the hosting.
    I understand that but my point is that this is what happens when you assume things are going to be a certain way.
    OurWildKingdomMairePoppy
  • I see no reason why you would have to put it. Seems obvious to me as a guest there would be dinner.

    However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting "Dinner reception to follow." It isn't against etiquette. 
    MairePoppy
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    edited July 2016
    scribe95 said:
    I see no reason why you would have to put it. Seems obvious to me as a guest there would should be dinner.

    However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting "Dinner reception to follow." It isn't against etiquette. 
    FIFY

    ETA - because my experience with evening weddings is limited to 2 where one was the one I mentioned above (that also had a partial cash bar) and the other was a full meal, dry reception. This has created a question. If one (not me) were to have an evening ceremony with only a cake and punch reception, should that be on the invitation since the assumption is that it's evening and, therefore, there will be dinner. 
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    scribe95 said:
    I see no reason why you would have to put it. Seems obvious to me as a guest there would should be dinner.

    However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting "Dinner reception to follow." It isn't against etiquette. 
    FIFY

    ETA - because my experience with evening weddings is limited to 2 where one was the one I mentioned above (that also had a partial cash bar) and the other was a full meal, dry reception. This has created a question. If one (not me) were to have an evening ceremony with only a cake and punch reception, should that be on the invitation since the assumption is that it's evening and, therefore, there will be dinner. 
    A cake and punch reception in the evening should only be served at a late enough time that dinner wouldn't be expected. I think I've seen 7:30 or 8:00 as being when the ceremony would start for such a wedding. Personally, I've never been to an evening wedding that didn't serve dinner.
    OurWildKingdomMairePoppy
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    A cake and punch reception in the evening should only be served at a late enough time that dinner wouldn't be expected. I think I've seen 7:30 or 8:00 as being when the ceremony would start for such a wedding. Personally, I've never been to an evening wedding that didn't serve dinner.
    I know it shouldn't be done, but sometimes it is. The last wedding I went to they felt heavy apps was enough, but because it was dinner time people ate more than they expected and they ran out of food rather early. I guess what I'm saying is, if you're going to go against what is proper, you should warn your guests. I honestly am not sure I'd have gone to that wedding had I known I wasn't going to get to eat especially as I was 5 months pregnant at the time.
    OurWildKingdomILoveBeachMusic
  • I like to plan. I like to plan my life and my day and know when/if I should eat. I do not like to assume or not know if food will be provided. Not providing guests with necessary (and if you are required to otherwise assume, yes, it is necessary) information seems like the opposite of good hosting. I wouldn't do this for any other event ("friend, please come over but I am going to keep it a secret whether it's for dessert or for dinner"). It doesn't matter to me whether it's cake and punch or a full dinner, just tell me ahead of time! This is one off the only "proper etiquette" rules that I fully intend on breaking. And it makes zero sense to me why it should even be a rule in the first place. 
    MairePoppySaintPaulGal
  • LtPowersLtPowers Upstate New York
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    Ironring said:

    And it makes zero sense to me why it should even be a rule in the first place. 
    It implies a number of unsavory things about the host, the guest, and/or their other friends and relations.

    First, it draws attention to the hosts' generosity, when it's really just an expected duty of being a proper host. It could be seen as self-aggrandizing.

    Second, it risks implying that the guest is not smart enough (or worldly enough, or sophisticated enough, or 'society' enough) to realize that of course dinner will be served at a dinnertime reception.

    Third, it risks sending the message "we know that sometimes you aren't properly hosted by other friends or relatives, so we'll make sure you know we're going to do it right".


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